This is what Richard Strauss wrote about it, following the death of Mahler (what a mix of laudable and debatable - to say the least - sentiments are crammed into this paragraph!!)
"The death of this aspiring, idealistic, energetic artist [is] a grave loss ... Mahler, the Jew, could achieve elevation in Christianity. As an old man the hero Wagner returned to it under the influence of Schopenhauer. It is clear to me that the German nation will achieve new creative energy only by liberating itself from Christianity ... I shall call my alpine symphony: Der Antichrist, since it represents: moral purification through one's own strength, liberation through work, worship of eternal, magnificent nature."
"The isle is full of noises... Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not"
The Tempest, Act III scene 2 ll 148-9
The only version of Eine Alpensinfonie I have is the Weimar/Wit recording on Naxos. The only problem I have with that recording is the lack of volume in the organ part during the storm sequence. I know there's so much going on in the rest of the orchestra, but the organ provides an epic 'backing' to the chaos.
Can I just tell you I'm wearing glasses at the moment. With this pair of glasses I can do terrible damage to you.
Some time ago I heard Charles Mackerras on the radio tell an anecdote about Strauss. As I recall, Strauss's son had married a jewish woman. Somehow, the three of them were at an event with Hitler, to whom Strauss introduced the couple, who had joined Strauss with understandable reluctance.
Mackerras said that Hitler greeted the woman with a phrase I've now forgotten - something like "Jetzt sind Sie aufge-----..." - meaning that her marriage to Strauss's son somehow made her an honorary Aryan.
Has anyone come across this story? Presumably CM had read it somewhere. I would love to know the precise words Hitler used.
Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency....
I found myself agreeing with the reviewer. The Karajan was the one with the heighest "goosebumps" quota* and I will dig out my LP of it today or tomorrow.
Shame they don't play "unavailable stuff" since you can normally get it 2nd hand or for download. The Bavarians for Solti sound terrific as does the RCO for Haitink (BTW, surely the Cotswolds are positively mountainous but Dutch standards!).
* goose-steps if Strauss had kept the Nietzsche reference....